New York - DWI laws toughen in New York State

DWI laws toughen in New York State 2007-2008
Updated: 9/10/2007 6:58 AM
By: Bonyen Lee
Find NY DWI Attorneys Here

HENRIETTA, N.Y. -- Law enforcement workers have one more piece of legislation on their side when it comes to the fight against drunk drivers. Governor Eliot Spitzer signed a new piece of legislation that will make it easier to stop recurring DWI offenders.

"For any family who has kids particularly when they go off to college and you have that empty nest syndrome, well we had that the day Matthew was killed," Mothers Against Drunk Drivers organizer Paul Kato said.

A drunk driver killed Matthew Kato three years ago. That's what makes his father Paul take part in these events to benefit MADD.

While Paul runs in the MADD Dash, lawmakers are making it tougher for DWI offenders to repeat their crimes.

"It's something that the customer has to blow in to present an alcohol free breath sample before the vehicle will start," Ignition Interlock operator Catherine Carbone said.

Governor Eliot Spitzer signed a bill late last week that standardizes disciplinary practices across the state for drunk drivers.

The Ignition Interlock device downloads information and transmits it to probation departments. Judges can order these Ignition Interlock devices more freely now and probation officers can use them more often to monitor offenders.

"It's still not fool proof. Two years ago we had five people in the county on it, we now have 45 and hopefully it will continue to grow," Monroe County District Attorney Mike Green said.

That's what parents like Paul hope for too.

"It's another reminder, another validation for the driver you should not be driving. Families like ours are devastated for the rest of our lives when you kill somebody," Paul said.

These runners will keep running rain or shine to keep lawmakers moving in the right direction